Richard Stallman: Goodbye to GNU Libreboot
Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 5 January 2017 at 12:33 PM EST. 63 Comments
GNU --
The drama over Libreboot, a downstream of Coreboot, wanting to leave the GNU has come to an end.

When Leah Rowe decided last year she wanted to withdraw Libreboot from being a GNU project, there was the ability for GNU to keep the project and appoint a new maintainer. There was a lot of fighting and rumors about what actually happened, but now Richard Stallman has written an email saying they are indeed going to drop Libreboot from the project.

Richard Stallman wrote this morning to the GNU mailing list a message entitled Goodbye to GNU Libreboot:
When a program becomes a GNU package, in principle that relationship is permanent. The program's maintainers undertake the responsibility to develop it on behalf of the GNU Project. Usually the initial maintainers are the developers that brought it into the GNU Project.

A package maintainer can decide to step down, to stop maintaining the package for the GNU Project. Many GNU packages have been in use for many years and are no longer maintained by their original developers.

When a package's maintainer steps down, that doesn't by itself break the relationship between GNU and the package. If it is left without a maintainer but is still useful, the GNU Project will usually look for new maintainers to work on it. However, we can instead drop ties with the package, if that seems the right thing to do.

A few months ago, the maintainer of GNU Libreboot decided not to work on Libreboot for the GNU Project any more. That was her decision to make. She also asserted that Libreboot was no longer a GNU package -- something she could not unilaterally do. The GNU Project had to decide what to do in regard to Libreboot.

We have decided to go along with the former GNU maintainer's wishes in this case, for a combination of reasons: (1) it had not been a GNU package for very long, (2) she was the developer who had originally made it a GNU package, and (3) there were no major developers who wanted to continue developing Libreboot under GNU auspices. Given these circumstances, to continue development of Libreboot within GNU would not be useful, so we are not going to do so.

Thus, Libreboot is no longer a GNU package. It remains free software.

Dr Richard Stallman
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